Over the past week, I have visited businessowners and workers in communities across Cape Town. From informal traders at the Nonkqubela Link Centre in Khayelitsha to female entrepreneurs participating in the Women-in-Business program in Plumstead and the Furntech incubator in Nyanga that equips learners to open their own furniture making and upholstery businesses, it is clear that Capetonians across all communities want a government that gets more done to create thriving businesses and job opportunities in Cape Town.
That is why I am today announcing the first of my seven pledges as DA mayoral candidate is to make Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa. I will be announcing one pledge every week over the coming seven weeks.
We all know that Cape Town already does more than any other city to empower entrepreneurs. But in a country with an unemployment rate of nearly 35% and where four out of every five young people cannot find work, we must now do even more than ever before to protect Cape Town against the failing national government by attracting investors, empowering entrepreneurs, and getting Cape Town working like never before.
Given all the talent and resources at our disposal, we need to do much more to ensure that Cape Town overtakes cities like Nairobi and Kigali on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. The Index indicates that it currently takes 88 days and thousands of Rands to obtain a construction permit, 37 days to have building plans approved, 14 days for a business owner to get a rates clearance certificate when registering property, and up to 97 days to establish a new electricity connection.
The DA will ensure that Cape Town becomes the most attractive investment destination on our continent by:
- Relentlessly cutting red tape wherever it holds businesses back, including by making it easier and faster to obtain a construction permit, approve building plans, obtain a rates clearance certificate, register a business, establish a new electricity connection and comply with licencing requirements;
- Creating a culture in the city administration of empowering and helping entrepreneurs rather than merely enforcing compliance;
- Ending load shedding in Cape Town to ensure that every business has a reliable supply of electricity around the clock;
- Doing the basics better so that every business owner gets quality basic services in exchange for their municipal rates;
- Using every tool at our disposal to prevent destructive national government policies like expropriation without compensation from ever being implemented in Cape Town; and
- Fighting for control over passenger rail so that workers and customers have access to reliable public transport to look for work, trade their goods and get to their jobs on time.
While the national government often treats entrepreneurs as a problem that needs to be dealt with, entrepreneurs are in fact the real heroes of our country because of the jobs they create. From the traders of Khayelitsha to the technology CEOs of the CBD and the craftsmen of Nyanga, the DA is determined to let every entrepreneur know that Cape Town welcomes them with open arms, and that this is the best city in Africa in which to start a business.